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BRENT LATHAM - Friday, December 4, 2009
After years of being up against some of the toughest the World Cup had to offer in the first round, Bob Bradley and crew will have no excuse in South Africa, having been drawn in arguably the easiest of the eight.

The United States will open play against colonial power England in Rustenburg on June 12th, the same venue in which they ran to a 3-0 defeat of Egypt in the Confederations Cup this past June.

The US will also take on Slovenia, making their second World Cup appearance, on June 18th in Johannesburg, before wrapping up play in nearby Pretoria five days later against African upstarts Algeria, in their first World Cup since 1986.

The Americans will also have the unique advantage of playing all three games in familiar surroundings, after having played matches in Pretoria, Rustenburg, and Johannesburg during the Confederations Cup. The Americans will also play all three games in a relatively compact area, while most teams will travel extensively around South Africa.

Friday's draw started off in a perhaps less than ideal manner for the Americans, as they were drawn into Group C with series head England, which has had an easy time in European qualifying under Italian coach Fabio Capello. Coach Bob Bradley had looked on as Mexico instead looked fortunate to be immediately drawn into Group A with hosts South Africa.

Luck turned rapidly, however, as the third team to be drawn into Group C was Algeria, likely the weakest team in Pot C, followed by the Slovenians, among the lower-regarded teams from the European pot.

The Americans also avoided a potential second round matchup with tournament favorites Brazil and Spain.

The top two teams from Group C will take on the first and second place teams from Group D - potentially the Group of Death - consisting of Germany, Ghana, Australia, and Serbia.
Friday December 4, 2009 3:59 pm
look i can't stand that lame Bob Bradley he should've been fired years ago when all of you were happy he was coach because of his wins...i knew he was a lame when he first was appointed coach. A coach from MLS please....anyways the USA got the easiest of all groups. Slovenia barely beat Russia, shouldn't be in the World Cup, Algeria got lucky, the only tough opponent England which will thrash the USA. But overall the this is all on the players, the coach will have a huge hand, but as I've always said the players are the ones on the field, if they lose its the players who play the game. As for Mexico being in a lucky group yeah, ok. Im central american we wish for mexico the worst, but they did not get a easy group except for SA. Power houses Uruguay and France. This wold cup cannot depend on that lame excuse of a coach BB, whatever team he takes it DEPENDS ON THE PLAYERS! the world cup is based on luck so lets wish the best of luck not the coach of the USA.
Friday December 4, 2009 3:53 pm
I agree about England being tired, but that's the downside of getting England in the first match instead of the third--see Czech Republic 2006.
Pat Mc
Friday December 4, 2009 3:45 pm
I'm absolutely stoked with this draw. Couldn't have asked for anything better. I'd take England over any of the seeded teams (excluding S. Africa....Mexico lucky b#tchs) Anyways, huge pressure on England not to lose to the Yanks. It would be disastrous for them and the press will pile on at just the thought of it. Going into this W.C. knowing you only have to outpoint Slovenia and Algeria to advance? you gotta love it. Not saying the US is a cinch to advance, all games in the W.C. are tough, but come on.....we couldn't have asked for anything better.

also, as mentioned in the article, even the quarterfinals they've avoided Brazil, Spain, Argentina. Germany aren't a cinch to clinch their group either. Even if they do, I'd take that all day. Especially considering the extra motivation the US will have from getting screwed in 02.
Friday December 4, 2009 3:35 pm
This is the draw I wanted. (Well, would rather have SA than england, but this is a tasty match up). If the US is not able to progress, we have NO excuses. No whining about being unlucky this time. The US is better than Slovenia and Algeria. If we dont win, it is the team and the coach's own fault.
Friday December 4, 2009 3:26 pm
I'm with brizzle. You've got to bend over backwards to find something to complain about here.

The team is weakened and getting through is far from assured but this is a great, great draw. We should get 6, 4 at least. Plus England's a head case of a team. Keep it scoreless for 60 mins and they'll feel the pressure of the fans and the media.
The Beagle
Friday December 4, 2009 3:24 pm
I'm not so optimistic. The USA still doesn't know who will be an effective replacement for Charlie Davies up front, what the striker combo formation will be, etc. We don't even know if Gooch will be available.
Friday December 4, 2009 3:17 pm
Luck ,,for whom ,, i guess Algeria ,England and Slovenia,,must be happy that USA is in the group.. please with BB ,, is 3 and out ,even with an easy group,"
Friday December 4, 2009 3:08 pm
yea, the USA has shown they can't come back from early tournament defeats.
Friday December 4, 2009 2:55 pm
Are you kidding me? This is the easiest draw the USA has ever had at the world cup. We are missing an important striker and defender, and who knows who else will miss out, but this is much better than facing Portugal again...or Brazil or Argentina or Germany.

I don't think we will get "torched" by England. All of their best players will arrive at the WC having played 50-60 games already...they'll be tired, like they always are.

Predictions of doom for the USA are much too premature. This is the best draw ever for USA...
Friday December 4, 2009 2:50 pm
I agree with TGA, group D is the group of death. Can wait to see what Drogba does to Brazil and Portugal. Though, North Korea is a real unknown, as the Italians.

If the US does not get out of this group, I will be very disappointed.
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